Spot the Fakers – 6 Warning Signs You’re Not Dealing with an Ethical Online Pet Pharmacy

pet meds

Much like everything else sold on the internet, there are people selling authentic pet products and meds and there are those who sell fake items. There are more than a few pet pharmacies online that sell counterfeit medications, supplements, and pet food

Sometimes, these fake pet pharmacies are easy to spot. They often offer unbelievable discounts on really popular pet products, have shady websites, and feature “badges of authenticity” that really don’t mean anything.

Honestly, you cannot debate the convenience of buying pet medications online. While there are unethical pet pharmacies, there are also those who sell 100% genuine products, offer great discounts, provide quick doorstep delivery, and feature honest pet meds reviews by real customers. The key is to learn how to filter out these good pet pharmacies from a long list of bad ones. It’s actually pretty easy and once you know the steps you will never have to worry about buying counterfeit pet products ever again. Without further ado, the following are 6 warning signs that you are not dealing with an ethical pet pharmacy.

Websites Not Asking You to Upload a Vet’s Prescription for Prescription Pet Medication

No matter what the selling platform, it’s mandated by law to check the prescription before selling any prescription medication, be it for pets or humans. Therefore, any site that does not adhere to that is essentially breaking the law. That also means, there is a high likelihood that they procure their products from counterfeiters or relabel expired pet meds.

The Pet Pharmacy is Not Vet-VIPPS Accredited

National Association of Board of Pharmacy (NABP) is an international organization that assesses both human and pet pharmacies and offers licenses and accreditations. They introduced the VIPPS program back in 1999 to accredit genuine online pharmacies. As its name implies, the Vet-VIPPS accreditation is offered by NABP to online pet pharmacies.  Most genuine pet pharmacies feature the Vet-VIPPS accreditation logo on their homepages.

Selling Pet Medications That Are Not FDA Approved

If you spot a pet med that’s not FDA approved, then consider that as an immediate redflag. No genuine pet pharmacy would ever risk featuring a medication that’s not regulated. Therefore, if you spot one, it’s a telltale sign that you are dealing with an unethical pharmacy.

Prices Sound Too Good to Be True

If the prices sound too good to be true, then it should invoke suspicion. This means the product featured did not come through the proper channels, which is always dangerous.  Apart from being sold fake products, you might end up buying meds manufactured outside the United States.

Not Listed or Poorly Rated on Better Business Bureau

BBB is an old school way checking a business’s online reputation and it still holds much ground. Head over to the BBB website and check to see if the website is listed. An unlisted website should be rejected immediately. The good thing about BBB is that you can also check customer reviews and ratings.

The Site Doesn’t Allow You to Write a Review

Most trusted online pet pharmacies would allow you to write a product review. If you buy from them the review gets marked as “Verified”. This is a risky move for people selling fake products, that’s why almost none of them allow visitors to write reviews.

Hack Job – Stop Butchering our Dogs

Many of the qualities that come so effortlessly to dogs – loyalty, devotion, selflessness, unflagging optimism, unqualified love – can be elusive to humans.

John Grogan

Who is better looking?

Who is better looking?

I don’t like my daughter’s ears.  They stick out at a weird angle.  Plus, she doesn’t look like other girls her age, and I want to maintain the standard.  So she’s going in for surgery.  They’re just going to cut a little bit off the top and around the sides. She’s young, so she doesn’t need any anesthetic.  She’ll recover quickly and then be happy that she looks like every other little girl now.

I seriously hope that most of you are considering reporting me to Child Services for those comments.  Now, I want you to take the words “daughter” and “girl” and substitute it with “dog” and “puppy”. Where’s the difference?

I have long maintained that tail docking and ear docking were among the more cruel and inhumane practices we subject our animals to, and that’s saying something.  The background for cropping and docking is solid, though.  Dogs were used for fighting, war, and protection:  we didn’t want to give their adversary anything to hold on to or get a grip on.  Fair enough.  Dogs were used for herding or hunting in scrubby, brushy areas: tails were docked to prevent the tails from getting caught in briers and brambles and sometimes literally getting ripped off.  Um, again, fair enough.  A couple hundred years ago, people thought that removing a dog’s tail would prevent rabies.  Wrong, but okay, at least you’re trying.

So, tell me, why is your dog’s tail missing?  Hopefully because your dog was born that way.  Sometimes trauma, like my own Darwin, who got his tail caught in a door when he was about 10 (one of the most horrific injuries I’ve ever seen, and requiring a massive amount of Piloting from me during the emergency vet trip (see here for how to act during such a trip).  There’s always my “favorite” reason: happy tail syndrome.  Dogs with long, bony tails who, through their exuberance for life, keep breaking their tails over and over again against walls and corners.  Yes, please dock those tails – those dogs are causing themselves injuries.

Other than that, though, I’m very hard pressed to come up with a good reason to dock a dog’s tail.  Even more hard pressed to find a good reason to crop ears.  England has banned the practice for more than 20 years.  Maybe for good reason.  People who have their dogs cropped typically point out that it’s AKC standard.  Funny, that’s the same excuse my children try to use for their bad behavior:  someone else gets to do it.  You’re really going to site the AKC as a bastion of putting pet health over “showiness”?  That’s like asking the folks at Project Runway to sponsor a project on helping girls cope with their body image.

When did THIS become fashion?

When did THIS become fashion?

Let me put it plain and simple:  docking isn’t for the health of the dog.  Docking isn’t to make the dog feel more comfortable.  Docking is putting your dog through painful surgery to remove their flesh and bone merely so you can have, what is in your mind, a better looking dog.  End of story.  Pure bred or not.  The excuse of “it’s breed standard” is thin at best.  If you wouldn’t subject your child to a similar surgery, why would you do it to your pet?

I see plenty of AKC dogs in my profession.  Most of them have been chopped up.  Whenever I see a Dane with scars on their ears, or a Boxer who is missing pieces, my hear immediately goes out to them.  I’m sorry we’ve done this to you.  We make a promise to these pets to love and care for them for the rest of their lives, and the first thing we do is go make them look better?  We love dogs for their ability to see through what we may look like, what disabilities we may have, and love us for what we are.  Isn’t it about time we give them the same level of dedication?

Keep calm and pilot on

Kerry Stack
Darwin Dogs LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OHio